Martin, Artest lead Kings past SonicsMar 31, 2008 - 5:12 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Kevin Martin scored 31 points and Ron Artest added 29 to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 120-107 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Sunday.
Artest added 12 rebounds and Francisco Garcia scored 21 points off the bench for Sacramento, which had lost four of its last five games.
One of the few bright spots for the Kings this season, Martin was 11-of-19 from the field and made all eight of his free throws. The 25-year-old point guard hit a pair of free throws to start an 11-0 run to close the third quarter and give the Kings a 94-83 lead.
"This was a case of our guys coming out in the second half and deciding that they wanted to guard somebody," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "I told them before the game that this game was going to be won by who decided to play defense."
The Sonics, who have been out of the playoff picture for the better part of the season, continue to struggle to find wins, dropping their third straight Sunday despite rookies Kevin Durant and Jeff Green combining for 46 points.
"They went on an 11-0 run, and we didn't come back at them," Durant said. "That's something we have got to do. Every team makes runs in this league, so we just have to come back at them."
While the Sonics are obviously looking toward the future, the Kings should be further ahead of where they are. Sacramento (33-40) matches its win total from last season with Sunday's victory, but that is not enough to consider the campaign a success, according to Artest.
"We have one of the best defensive players to ever play the game in myself," Artest said. "We have Brad (Miller) and Kevin, up and coming first- and second-team All-NBA guys, and we have some good point guards, so it's a failure that we didn't make the playoffs.
"It hurts but, at the same time, we'll get ready for next year. Next year will be our year."
Seattle (17-57) has now lost 14 of its last 16 games and is saddled with the worst record in the West. The Sonics have lost five straight at home to the Kings.
"We seemed to get back in it, but we weren't going to get back in it without stops," Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "The offense was good early and the defense was fair. Unfortunately, the whole game we couldn't keep them off the free-throw line."
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